Discharging Patients from ED

Unfortunately, sometimes homeless patients must be discharged from the ED onto the street. In this circumstance it is of particular importance to ensure that the patient has capacity (especially for patients who want to self-discharge) and that there are no safeguarding concerns (18). While homelessness is not an indication for admission, bear in mind that these patients may warrant a lower threshold for an inpatient admission. The following may be barriers to safe discharge in this population:

  • Inability to comply with close follow up
  • Inability to afford or access prescribed medication
  • No facilities to isolate if required

When discharging these patients, ensure you have referred them to relevant services and checked that you have up to date contact information (1).